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Journal of Agricultural Extension

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Organic Farming as a Strategy for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Sub-Saharan Africa: Implications for Policy

RN Mgbenka

Abstract


The study focuses on organic farming (OF) as a strategy for climate change adaptation and mitigation in sub-Saharan Africa. The potential contribution of OF to mitigation of climate change lies in the following: its CO2 sequestration in the soil and careful management of nutrients and hence, the reduction of N2O emissions from soils. For climate change adaptation, OF systems have a strong potential for building resilient food systems through farm diversification and building soil fertility with organic
matter. In developing countries, OF offers alternatives to energy-intensive production inputs such as synthetic fertilizers which are limited for poor rural populations by rising energy prices. Also, OF systems achieve equal or even higher yields in developing countries, as compared to the current conventional practices. This provides a considerable option for food security and sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor in times of climate
change. The region under review is experiencing some challenges as regards OF development such as poor local marketing, low level of organic certification, little information on OF, little or no policies to safeguard OF activities, little private sector involvement and lack of technical assistance. The study recommends that in order to promote and accelerate sustainable OF in the sub-Saharan Africa, all stakeholders and
governments must as a matter of policy establish departments of organic agriculture in higher institutions of learning, train extension workers in OF practices, disseminate emerging indigenous OF knowledge, skills, technologies and crop varieties. It also highlights the need to build on indigenous knowledge in response and in partnership with farmers, proper funding of OF researches, and promote development of local and regional markets for organic products.



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jae.v16i2.14
AJOL African Journals Online